April 21, 2014

How to stay away from your Camera

by Khanum

Ever since I got my new camera, Canon 600D, I have been doing photography almost everyday. All my posts are about photography and all my days revolve around ideas that can improve my skills.

This. is. getting. too.much.now! I want to take a break from my camera, break up with it for awhile, announce to my family that I’m on a vacation and would concentrate on reading and writing alone. If you’re also that person who feels its getting a bit overwhelming with shooting all the time, you need to stop too and do something else. Refresh your system and I know, even though it would be hard to stay away from your camera, you need to try for the sake of saving your other talents and plans for life. If you’re a writer , this break is definitely needed for your soul.

Help yourself by knowing these points. 

1- A picture is better than a thousand words. But words are there for a reason. Tell yourself that. Realise it and don’t over do it with photography. Still can’t stop? Find a way to add words to your picture. Make long descriptions, this way you would find the joy of writing again and the devil camera might leave your mind for awhile.

2- Know that everything can’t be photographed. There are emotions that you can’t capture in still photography but only in words. Make schedules, do photography but only once a week. On other days, do something else that gives you joy. Write if that’s what makes you happy. Don’t give up.

3- And finally, make your photography meaningful. Don’t just snap snap and snap all the time. Go for conceptual photography and if you know what that is, you also know that is it takes proper planning and timing because its like a project and not photography for the sake of photography alone.

When I’m back with my camera and we are no longer in a broken relationship, I’ll start writing digital photography tutorials to help you learn how I do my stuff and also to make room for writing.  Meanwhile, enjoy some last of my work because you won’t be seeing much of it for few days.

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April 20, 2014

The Whirling Dervishes & The Jumping Gilgit Men

by Khanum

I had another blast just few hours ago. I was taken to Gilgit, Baluchistan, Kashmir,  some more places and ahan!  Konya, Turkey!!

I got to Enjoy that famous Turkish dance, yup, that whirling dervishes performance where they spin round and round endlessly.

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Are you kidding me, Khanum?

No, I am serious. But I didn’t actually go to all those place, All this was brought  right here in Lahore at Expo Centre, Cultural Night, infact. Not only this, I also got to enjoy a dance performance by gilgit group.

I must say it was my favorite one out of all the performances. It was soothing and beautiful.

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The men in the background played beautiful flute or sitar, whatever it was, while two men danced so elegantly on stage in white  shalwar kameez. The amazing thing was their jumps! Yup, they jumped so high many times in it. Ooooo it was so entertaining! Look again, at the jump!

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Then a 3rd one joined them on stage and it got all bomb amazing.

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So good that even Turkish dervish dance performers couldn’t help but observe them from behind the curtain. Have a look at the picture below! See, how amused the man is  behind the curtain at backstage ?

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This was very new to me. I am not a concert person. Nor it was a concert but somewhat near to that. The Turkish performance was not as I imagined it would be, I was waiting for a moment when I would feel a certain emotion and go in trance or something. But It was rather strange, I wonder how they could say that this specific dance was a form of worship. How can an act of worship be  a performance that needs an audience any way?

But I have to say the stamina these men displayed was enormous. They kept whirling for like an hour or maybe more than that. It requires stamina and alot of patience. That’s the only inspiration this could convey.

Perhaps I need to go to Turkey to see the real thing.  And to china as well. Because the Dragon dance that was the second biggest attraction of the night got cancelled at the last minute. I was very disappointed. Let’s hope they arrange another cultural night for that. However, I would appreciate it if they would make it less noisy. I don’t know , maybe its me, but my head was already aching bad after an hour inside that auditorium. Do I need to add that few people among the Pakistani audience are total idiots? Why the heck they had to whistle even at the Whirling Dervishes performance is beyond me. Clapping out of the blue was another hilarious and entirely crazy act. Minus that, it was a GREAT night for Photography. Hope you like the pictures out of the 500 that I took! Lol

 

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Another long and rather strangely new kind of performance was given by a group of men in colorful frocks. They also said their dance was “Inspired by Sufism”, by the way.

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The night is long gone. The performances are done, but I am still mesmerized by that one performance.

No .. not the Whirling one. But the one by The gilgit group who had amazing outfits with caps having pigeon feather on top like a crown and jumped so high while dancing. This makes me want to visit Gilgit.

A very pleasing idea.

April 15, 2014

Lunar Corona seen through my Baby Lens, April 2014

by Khanum

Behold! what you have often seen but probably didn’t knew what it was.  That’s Lunar Corona.

Lunar coronae are much more familiar than those around the sun. They are seen when the clouds are thin enough that each single corona light ray reaching the eye is scattered or diffracted by only one droplet. Of course, the whole corona is made by a great many droplets individually scattering the moonlight.

Sometimes as clouds pass over the moon the corona shrinks and swells as different sized droplets mould it. Small droplets make the largest coronae with aureoles a few moon diameters across.  – Source 

 

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April 14, 2014

Shootout at Sahiwal

by Khanum

Last week, me along with my two cartoon cousins rocketed our way to another city on some business. We had never imagined that this trip would become this memorable and fun.I never left my camera. They never left me.

Even on our last day, few minutes before we departed, *while me all teary* We discovered my cousin’s grandfather’s Rifle. Could we three loony toons stay away from it? Nope. Ever since I got an upgrade on my camera, I have become my cousins professional photographer, so we had to test its beauty. Here are some pictures from that dangerous weapon’s test shoot.

P.S. No human or animal was injured during the test shoot, I assure you all. It was completely a safe rifle to play with. Actually its a rifle that is used to shot lizards in the house, as my khala is very scared of them. So do the math now about its safety.

 

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April 13, 2014

Creating Personalized desktop wallpapers

by Khanum

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With Canon 600D in my life now, everything is different. The mood is different, my days are different and so as my desktop. Recently I found out that apart from the video making and photography experiments, The best part is to be able to create my own desktop wallpapers. I not only created wallpapers for my laptop but also for my cousin’s desktop. Alhamdulillah!It turned out great.

Why would you create desktop wallpapers anyway, Khanum? Don’t you have some cool photography to do?

Well! The answer is very simple. Originality is the keyword for a photographer and not “something big” or “something small”. As long as your work is original, your work is grand. Secondly, I like to have things my way, especially on my desktop. I wanted to have something new and fresh, also something with cool colors so I did what seemed best. Plus, its much fun to do so. If you’re into photography or just want to try out something with your kit lens, I would recommend, this exercise first ,just to test the limits of your creativity and also the limits of your camera.

The above shot was taken just to test the bokeh effect thing. I wanted to see how I can have nice looking bokeh in daylight, so I grabbed my canon, hit the landscape mode or perhaps portrait mode, I don’t rememeber now, hehe ! The point is, I was able to find pretty flowers in my courtyard and shoot them with bokeh effect. And voila! The test shot came out pretty well, well enough to make it to my desktop wallpaper collection. Enjoy the rest of the pictures.
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April 5, 2014

Her Smile in Black & White

by Khanum

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“Smiling is infectious,
you catch it like the flu,
When someone smiled at me today,
I started smiling too.” 

Whoever said these words, said it so true. I enjoy photographing kids, especially when they are this bubbly. This little girl is my cousin, Mehr un Nisa, we call her Mehru.

Masha Allah! Her smile is quite photogenic and what’s more good about her smile is that it suits the black & white canvas. I personally love black & white photographs more than the color ones. They speak many things.  And the best day to take B&W photos in natural day light is when it’s cloudy and about to be rainy outside.

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April 2, 2014

In search of a starry night

by Khanum

So what have I been upto!?

I have been running after stars. Like mad! Literally! Like mad!!

And nobody gets this, why! People have been asking me why haven’t I uploaded anything from my canon. Well, my reason is that I have been running after a clear night to photograph. I didn’t buy this canon for making portraits of my family–which is exactly what they force me to do every day–I got this so I can finally do something I dreamed of. Astrophotography. It’s been my love. I still remember how I used to spend endless hours on gawking the Natgeo’s captures of the heavens and star trails. I have even watched a Pakistani amateur astronomer,  live, marvelling at the moon with his mighty Celestron Telescope. And all those times, I used to wonder when would my time come to have a picture of the stunning starry night . That time is here. Canon with its beauty gives you stunning manual control over ISO, Exposure and shutter speed– that you can do wonders with.

The only problem I am having now is the  pollution engulfing my city. I can’t see enough stars to fill my digital canvas. So I decided to move to another city in few days and try my luck there.  I hope I get a clear nightsky or I am really going to kill someone in frustration. Till then, let me share what I got so far.

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I took this shot on manual mode with F/4.5 and ISO 400. We can of course increase the ISO upto 6400 in Canon 6ooD. ISO 800 in my opinion is ideal for photographing starry night but keep in mind that higher ISO means higher noise in the picture. The tiny grains that ruin the picture sometimes. In few days I am going to try again and in shaa Allah, Hopefully , I’ll get some good shots. I just pray Lahore was a pollution free city. Ugh. Or I had a flying carpet so I could quickly fly to Himalayas for a photo session of those gorgeous skies.

Here’s another experiment rather an adventure I had at a racecourse Park the other day. I was waiting for the stars to come out but rain began to pour and annihilated my dreams. So I started to play with camera settings.

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Its taken at a manual mode once again but I made the settings on bulb. I had no tripod at that time otherwise it would have come out so perfect, the shots are blurry but sometimes you got to enjoy the  mistakes and be free in your style of photography. Screw the rules.  That’s how you learn and excel.

Okay, I’m done with the wrecked shots, let’s have a look at the perfect light capture. I love the way Canon let’s me shoot the beautiful lights and capture them in a tiny box like magic.

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I’ll soon share the black and white shots that I did today. I personally admire black & white photography alot and the best day to shoot portraits for black and white is a rainy day, when the sky is bit grey and dark. The light on that day is perfect for the black and white shoot.

I have also done some video tests and now working on a small film. Ooooh! I’m so excited about it. Let’s pray it comes out good!

See you all soon.

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